Salaries of teachers, counsellors and other MOE officers being reviewed: Chan Chun Sing

MOE periodically reviews salaries to ensure pay packages remain competitive, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Salaries of teachers, counsellors and other officers on Ministry of Education (MOE) schemes are currently under review, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday (July 5).

In a written parliamentary reply, Mr Chan said the MOE is working with the Public Service Division on this review.

The last two salary reviews for teachers were in October 2015 and September 2012.

In 2012, teachers and allied educators received a pay rise of between 5 and 15 per cent. Classroom teachers got an 8 per cent raise, which was meant to keep pace with the market, MOE said at that time.

The 2015 review led to a 4 per cent to 9 per cent increase for teachers.

He was responding to a question from Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on whether his ministry would consider giving greater pay incentives to school counsellors across primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to attract sufficient counsellors of the highest quality and ensure low student-to-counsellor ratios.

Mr Chan added that MOE and the institutes of higher learning periodically review salaries of staff to ensure pay packages remain competitive.

Adjustments are also made, where necessary, to keep pace with the market, he added.

Said Mr Chan: "Besides competitive remuneration, counsellors are provided opportunities for professional development and growth, which is important for staff attraction and retention.

"MOE supports counsellors in honing their counselling competencies through courses and regular clinical supervision and consultation sessions with their clinical supervisor."

He did not elaborate on when the review would be completed, or by how much salaries would be adjusted.

In June, the Government said 23,000 civil servants will get a pay rise of between 5 per cent and 14 per cent from Aug 1 this year.

Mr Patrick Tay, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, said the review was timely so that educators and those in MOE-specific jobs are fairly and competitively remunerated to keep pace with the overall rise in wages across different sectors.

Mr Mike Thiruman, general secretary of the Singapore Teachers’ Union, said the union had been looking forward to a salary review. 

He said such a review was an important signal that Singapore as a society values its teachers and the sacrifices they make. 

“Teachers’ workloads have increased because of the pandemic. Regardless of the pandemic, the duties of a teacher have become more complex,” said Mr Thiruman.

He added  the union was hoping for a substantial increase in the salaries of teachers at all grades, but it would be significant if this review could take into account years of service. 

A review every three to five years would be appropriate as there are rapid developments in the market, he said.

“We understand that this time around, Singapore had to address the pandemic situation first since late 2019,” added Mr Thiruman.

Sengkang MP He Ting Ru said that other factors which raise teachers’ turnover rates, including working hours and administrative duties, should be regularly reviewed along with pay in a holistic fashion. 

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